Creamy Plantain and Squash Ground Beef Mash

I know what you’re thinking.

It’s probably something along the lines of “Ewwww, bananas and ground beef? Gross!”

But hear me out, please.

Squash and Plantain Ground Beef Mash | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

I know that this is a very strange combination and I would’ve NEVER thought of it myself, had I not seen it with my own two eyes and tasted it with my own thousands of taste buds during my recent stay in Cuba.

Indeed, on my first day there, as I was checking out my protein options at the lunch buffet, I spotted this very yummy looking, super creamy ground beef dish. It had a little bit of a light orange-y color to it, so I figured it was probably mixed with some kind of calabaza, which is surprisingly very popular there. At pretty much every meal, there will be offerings of steamed or baked pumpkin or other members of the squash family.

Squash and Plantain Ground Beef Mash | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

So with a very eager tummy and anticipating taste buds, I grabbed a serving spoon and proceeded to scoop some of this delicious looking concoction onto my plate.

That’s when I noticed little bits of something lighter in color throughout the meat, like a light, creamy yellow…

Upon closer inspection, I realized that they were chunks of “plátano”.

I was like “WHAT? They actually mixed plantain with ground beef? Surely they used the greener than green individuals, so they will have no sweetness to them whatsoever!”

Squash and Plantain Ground Beef Mash | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Still, my initial taste test was conducted with a lot of caution. I really wasn’t certain that this was going to work for me.

Well, let me tell ya, I was in for a surprise. No, make that 2 surprises.

Surprise #1: The plátano they used was NOT of the green variety. It must have been very yellow indeed. Perhaps not black, but definitely very ripe, and definitely sweet!

Surprise #2: It was absolutely delicious. By some kind of strange wizardry, the combination actually worked. Not only did it work, it was absolutely DELICIOUS! I was looking forward to having more of this fabulous discovery every following day for the rest of my stay.

Squash and Plantain Ground Beef Mash | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Unfortunately, I was in for a major deception: this dish never again made it to the buffet table.

All week I crossed my fingers that it would eventually make an appearance, to no avail. Looks like it was gone for good. If I was going to ever have some again, I’d have to make it myself.

For days, I thought of asking Raoul, the chef, for the recipe but seeing as how his Ingles is as good as my Español, I figured I wouldn’t understand anyway, so I might as well come up with my own personal rendition.

While I can’t say that I have completely nailed it, I think I came up with something that is fairly close, still.

Squash and Plantain Ground Beef Mash | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

You are looking at a meat dish that is super creamy and warm and comforting and sweet enough that it can be enjoyed any time of day.  Just like a good bowl of oatmeal, it’ll start your day oh so right but it also has the potential to end it as spectacularly as a good ole Chicken Pot Pie would.

For me, this is definitely a winner: an exotic yet comforting dish that will now bid me good day before I head out for work on a regular basis.

So, what say you? Will you dare try it?

Creamy Plantain and Squash Ground Beef Mash

Yield: Serves 3-4

NF based on 1 of 3 servings

Creamy Plantain and Squash Ground Beef Mash

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 450g grass-fed lean ground beef
  • ½ tsp Himalayan or fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 dried birds eye chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 yellow plantain, sliced
  • 1 cup pureed buttercup squash
  • 1½ cup water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a heavy skillet set over medium high heat melt a little bit of cooking fat (lard, ghee or coconut oil preferred). When fat is nice and hot, add onions, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until the veggies are fragrant and softened, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add ground beef, chili pepper, cinnamon and allspice and continue cooking until the beef is no longer pink.
  3. Stir in the Dijon mustard and coconut aminos, then add the plantain and continue cooking until it becomes really soft and only a few visible pieces remain. It might help to smoosh it with your spoon to better break it down.
  4. Add squash puree and water and continue cooking until well combined, creamy and heated through.
  5. Serve piping hot
http://thehealthyfoodie.com/creamy-plantain-and-squash-ground-beef-mash/

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Comments

  1. says

    Are you kidding!!??? I’m from Puerto Rico we loooove plaintains. You should have a pastelon de amarillos. Which is kinda like a lasagna but instead of pasta we use plaintains, fill it with the ground beef and on top tons of cheese. I never have tried the plaintains with the squash before but I will give it a try. Must be delicious!!!! Thanks!!!!

  2. says

    I love dishes that combine savory and sweet – this looks amazing! I made a fritter recently using plantains and chorizo which is another great combo. Loving all of these ground beef ideas that you’ve been coming up with lately! Can’t wait to try this one out myself!

    • says

      Plantains and chorizo sure do sound like an amazing combination to me! Did you post the recipe on your blog Mellissa? If you haven’t, I say you definitely should. I for one, would like that very much and would assuredly be making them! :)

  3. says

    This sounds and looks really good! I’m going to have to try it, along with the pumpkin pie you posted not to long ago, once my current 21DSD is over.

    • says

      Can you not have plantains while doing a 21DSD? I’m not all that familiar with the program, but I remember seeing much “worse” than plantains. I guess I really should check out that program and see what it’s all about. Who knows, I might be tempted to give it a try! :)

      • says

        The only fruit allowed on the #21dsd is a green apple, green-tipped banana, or grapefruit. Diane Sanfilippo recommends just these once because they are not as sweet as other fruits.

      • says

        Oh, I see. Ripe plantain would be fairly high in sugar, agreed. I think I would leave all fruit out if I were to do a 21DSD. I might very well give that one a try after the Holidays. And follow up with another round of Whole30…

  4. says

    I’m not a big fan of plantains but I’m fairly certain that I would love ‘em paired with ground beef.
    And it’s such a great thing to get inspired by other culinary tradition, there’s so much to learn!

    • says

      Funny, I wasn’t big on plantain either before I started travelling to Cuba. They serve it at pretty much every meal there, so I really learned to love it, and I do mean LOVE it. I only wish it wasn’t SO high in carbs… For that reason, I only indulge once in a while. If it wasn’t for that, I think you’d see plantain in about half my recipes! ;)

      And I am right with you on getting inspired by other culinary traditions. I sure am glad the Cubans opened my eyes to the combination of ground beef and plantain! I hope you do give it a try, and if you do, please let me know how it worked for you. :)

  5. Dana says

    Hi! I am excited to try this…love plantains! I have never heard of a bird’s eye chilli. Can I find this in a standard grocery store, or Whole Foods? If I can’t find it, is there a substitution? Thanks so much : )

  6. Kim says

    This dish is delicious! I ate it this morning for breakfast and am looking forward to the rest that I divided for future meals! Thank you for providing such wonderful recipes and informative content on your blog!

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